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Aomine adjusted his pack as he made his way across the field.  Today was the day; he and Tetsuya were headed back to Touou.  They were meeting at Teppei’s to gather supplies.  He calculated four days to Touou from here, if they didn’t get lost in the mountains.

Kayura hadn’t wanted him to go, but she didn’t try to talk him out of it, but she also didn’t stay to say goodbye.  Aomine was disappointed, to not see her this morning when he left.

Tetsuya had stopped by to finalize their travel plans. He hadn’t seen Taiga since the night they played ball, but he had heard about the fighting that ensued.  Taiga had hollered and screamed at Tetsuya, but to no avail.  The red dragon was furious and went so far as to confront the Emperor in an attempt to stop Tetsuya from leaving the valley.  The rumor was Taiga limped away from the confrontation and was now refusing to see Tetsuya.

It was enough to almost change Aomine’s mind.  But he reminded himself, he didn’t really have much choice, if he wanted to save the king.  It turns out he did.  He would risk the dragon’s anger.  King Imayoshi was the only one in Touou to treat him like a person.  To find some value in the orphan roaming the streets.  Now he had a chance to return the kindness and he would.  Not that Imayoshi was a nice sweet person; he was a royal bastard, literally.  But he ruled the kingdom better than his father.  He believed the term was harsh but fair, that was Imayoshi, when you could get past his smirking condescending mask.

Aomine stopped; he had just exited the trees and looked over a meadow.  He was back.  This was where he met Tetsuya for the first time.  It didn’t take much imagination to see the golden dragons tumbling in the grass or the huge red dragon standing over him.

His mind started to live the moment over again, so he wasn’t terribly surprised when a stream of fire engulfed him.

Aomine threw himself to the ground rolling away from the flames.  Pulling his body tight, he hid behind his shield against the next blast.  Fire rippled around him, scorching his clothes and causing his hair to smoke.  The heat was amazing he could feel his shield getting hotter with each passing second.

There was a break in the assault and a deep voice rumbled above him.  “You shouldn’t have come back.”

Aomine looked; Taiga had every reason to want him dead, but was surprised to not see the red dragon he was expecting.  The dragon before him was gray, not as big as the red, but no less deadly.  The gray dragon drew in a breath and Aomine prepared to brace behind his shield.  He only had to hold out long enough for what he knew was coming.

Sure enough, just before the dragon breathed, Tetsuya was between them.

Aomine lifted his head hearing Tetsuya speak dragon at the other dragon.  It didn’t work, the dragon blasted Tetsuya.  The blue turned his head, but didn’t move, protecting Aomine from the flames.  Aomine watched in shock, the gray wasn’t holding back.  When the flames stopped it lunged forward, biting down where the blue neck and shoulder met.  Tetsuya screamed.

The gray shook him like a dog with a toy and tossed him to the side.

“Tetsu!” Aomine screamed.  He was going to run to the blue dragon when the gray turned back to him.  One clawed foot crushed him into the ground.

Aomine’s body was consumed by pain.  He could feel his bones breaking.

The dragon gave a twist of its foot, like you would squish a bug, before moving off.

For a moment he couldn’t feel anything but consuming pain.  He took a ragged breath and immediately coughed up blood.  Something was very wrong, he couldn’t breathe properly, his limbs wouldn’t move.  He lay staring into the sky.

A face appeared before him.

Long blue hair framed tear filled blue eyes.

Kayura

Aomine tried to move his mouth, desperate to speak.

Run, he wanted to scream.  Run, Kayura, run!

Her lips moved, but he couldn’t hear her words.

Run, he silently begged, run.  He didn’t want to watch her die.

Please run.

She cradled his head in her lap, rocking him gently.  He couldn’t feel it, but he could see the sky swaying.

A shadow fell over them.  Kayura looked up, her face did not show any fear.  Determination and rage gripped her features.  Blue sparks shot from her eyes, and as he watched she was consumed by blue lighting.  Then she was gone.

Aomine thought there were tears running from his eyes, but he couldn’t be sure.  A deep darkness consumed his sight.

———————

“Daiki”

“Daiki”

“It’s going to be okay, Daiki, mommy’s here”

“I’ve got you Daiki.”

“Daiki”

“Daiki”

The words filtered through the fog, drawing him from the darkness.

Gently hands stroked his hair.

“Please, come have some rest, he will be okay.” another voice spoke.

“No, I’m not leaving till he wakes.”

“You need to sleep, it’s been four days.”

“Not until I see his eyes.”

“Shintaro said he would live, you can trust him.”

“Not until Daiki wakes.  I can rest then.”

The stroking continued, warm liquid dripped on his cheeks and was gently wiped away.

“I won’t leave my Daiki.”

Slowly, Aomine lifted his eyelids to gaze at the face above him.

Kayura gazed down at him; a loving smile graced her lips.

“Hello, baby.”  She continued to stroke his hair, “I’ve got you, and it’s all going to be okay.”

He gave a small nod, before giving in and slipping back in to unconsciousness.

 

Chapter 10

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